U.K. Agrees Trade Deal With Norway in Latest Post-Brexit Accord

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The U.K. agreed a new trade accord with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, its latest post-Brexit deal which cuts tariffs on agricultural products and fish.

The agreement, which builds upon a roll-over deal that Britain had signed with Norway when it left the European Union at the end of 2020, also reduces paperwork on commerce and will make it easier for high-skilled professionals to travel from the U.K. to the respective countries, the Department for International Trade said in a statement.

Striking trade agreements independently was a key Brexit pledge by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The U.K. is also edging toward a deal with Australia and is in talks with the U.S. and New Zealand. Those negotiations are critical and remain in the balance. It also aspires to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-country pact that includes Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

U.K. trade with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein is currently worth 21.6 billion pounds ($30.5 billion), according to DIT. That’s about 3% of Britain’s trade with the EU in 2019. U.K-EU trade flows have suffered since Brexit, hit by extra red tape and higher customs costs.

The U.K. was Norway’s biggest bilateral trade partner in 2020 -- thanks largely to energy -- with exports to the U.K. totaling 135 billion kroner ($16 billion) and imports at 42 billion kroner. Norway’s farmers have been worried the government would prioritize its fishing industry by agreeing to lower tariffs on agriculture imports, according to reports by public broadcaster NRK.

Norway isn’t an EU member but is part of the European Free Trade Association, as are Iceland and Liechtenstein.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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